Depression is a disorder that affects your mood and causes an increase in sadness. According to the CDC, 1 in 6 adults will experience depression during their lifetime, and about 16 million people in the United States deal with depression yearly.
Depression is a serious yet very common ailment. The symptoms of depression affect everyday tasks such as eating and sleeping. These symptoms include feeling sad or empty, irritability, fatigue or a decrease in energy, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, appetite changes or weight changes, and suicidal thoughts or ideation. There are a number of different forms of depression, including seasonal depression and postpartum depression.
Seasonal depression, as the name suggests, occurs during winter, when there is less sunlight. This type of depression is associated with “social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain” (NIMH). Postpartum depression is a form of depression that may take place shortly after giving birth. While it is normal to experience some postpartum “baby blues” after giving birth, postpartum depression is a more severe, lasting form of depression. Some symptoms of postpartum depression include mood swings, difficulty bonding with your baby, and feelings of worthlessness.
Depression also affects teenagers. The symptoms are often very similar to those of depression in adults. The differences lie in the way that depression affects teenagers’ lives: teenagers often also exhibit symptoms such as worsening grades, over-eating or sleeping, lessened interest in social interaction and extracurricular activities, and self-harm.